COVID-19 vaccine trial begins in Seattle

As part of a new clinical study, researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) administered the first injection of an investigational COVID-19 vaccine to four volunteers on Monday. The Phase I clinical trial is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), an institute within the National Institutes of Health.


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The clinical trial will examine the safety of the vaccine, called mRNA-1273, and will take place over a 14-month period. During this time, 45 volunteers will receive two injections of the vaccine, spaced about a month apart.

According to NIAID, the mRNA-1273 has shown promise in animal models, but this is the first trial to examine the vaccine in humans.

Participants will receive varying doses of the vaccine to evaluate its safety and examine and how the immune system responds to it. As a phase I trial, the study will not study the effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing the illness caused by the coronavirus.

There is currently no vaccine that is proven to protect against COVID-19.

“Finding a safe and effective vaccine to prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2 is an urgent public health priority,” said NIAID  Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “This Phase 1 study, launched in record speed, is an important first step toward achieving that goal.”

Lisa Jackson, MD, MPH, senior investigator at KPWHRI, is the lead investigator of the study. Jackson previously led clinical trials for H7N9 avian flu and H1N1 vaccine testing.

“We are proud that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) selected us to conduct this innovative trial,” said Jackson. “We’re well prepared and focused on helping to address this evolving health situation.”